GoogleWifi modem vendor (we used
to be in same office building)Its hard to be in Mountain View and not to constantly feel the presence of Google. Everytime I go out to dinner, we can count at least 3-4 people wearing Google shirts. Google does usability testing at my favorite cafe (Dana Street Roasting House). Many of my friends work for Google. And now, everytime I look at avalable wireless networks, I see “GoogleWifi”. I have not actually used it myself – its not because I did not try. I tried – from several places in Mountain View. Even reached the wifi registration page a few times. But the connection is not strong enough. Not even from the coffee shop (Dana Stree cafe). Also, I have been using Live555 (a free wireless provider) for a while at Dana Street, so feel a certain loyalty towards them.
I was rather excited at the idea of Moutain View getting free wifi. I was excited at the possibilities – and I still look forward to watching for what impact community wifi has. But so far, it seems that I will not be using it myself. First, you need a special modem to boost the signal. Although I know where to get one – one of the modem vendors had an office in the same building as our previous office – I cannot be bothered to buy one. I have a perfectly workable wireless infrastructure – fast internet connections at work and home, wireless routers etc. My internet connectivity is too important to start depending on a free service that we don’t yet have much experience with. The privacy issues bothers me a little (but I would check out the service in spite of that). The only reason I would want free wifi is to use at cafes and restaurants. But all of the ones I go to already have a free connection, and Google Wifi does not work there anyway.
Judging from the number of people who came knocking on the door of this modem vendor, the uptake in Mountain View has been good. But so far, I am yet to use it. I guess that I will wait till I have some real need to use Google Wifi.